Individuals may be diagnosed as having ADHD or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (also referred to as ADD) when they have significant problems with inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity, which were first identified in childhood (prior to the age of 12). The severity of symptoms can vary but the symptoms must exist across multiple settings and impair a major domain of life functioning in order to qualify as a disability. Some individuals have more difficulty sustaining attention, listening to and following through with directions and organizing tasks (predominantly inattentive ADHD), while others are more restless, talkative, and impulsive (predominantly hyperactive/impulsive ADHD). The combined type has characteristics of both inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity.
Difficulties associated with ADHD may include:
- Memory problems
- Chronic boredom
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic lateness
- Mood swings
- Relationship problems
- Poor social skills
All students seeking to register with the CAL must submit the Application for Services Form as well as supporting documentation, which must be filled out according to the guidelines below.
Appropriate professional: registered psychologist with clinical designation, a psychiatrist or a physician with specialized training. Diagnosis is usually based on a clinical interview, a medical interview/examination (to identify any coexisting conditions and/or rule out conditions that can give rise to ADHD-like symptoms) and behaviour rating scales.
Documentation should also include:
- A clear statement of the disability, along with the DSM-5 diagnosis and summary of present symptoms
- A statement of the impact of the disability on the student’s ability to meet the demands of a university environment (including the impact of medication or other treatment on performance)
- If a learning disability or other disability is co-existing, and the student wishes accommodations for these disabilities, then the criteria for documentation of the additional disabilities must also be met